Spiritual Communion

Brother John Raymond

	What is a Spiritual Communion? It is desiring to receive Holy
 Communion when we are not able to actually do so. Of course we
 should not make a Spiritual Communion to replace an actual Holy
 Communion. The advantage of a Spiritual Communion is that we can
 make it as often as we like.
	One may wonder about the value of this practice. St. Catherine of
 Siena (1347-1380) was afraid that a Spiritual Communion was nothing
 compared to a Sacramental Communion. In a vision of Our Lord she saw
 Him hold up two ciboria (the vessel which contains the Sacred Hosts)
 and say, "In this golden ciborium I put your Sacramental Communions.
 In this silver ciborium I put your Spiritual Communions. Both
 ciboria are quite pleasing to Me."
	I would like to recommend a beautiful prayer written by St.
 Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) for making your Spiritual Communion.
 St. Alphonsus taught that a Spiritual Communion produces effects in
 our souls similar to a Sacramental Communion according to the
 dispositions with which it is made. The greater the desire for Jesus
 and the greater love with which Jesus is welcomed the greater the
 graces received.
	How appropriate to begin this practice as we start the Advent
 Season. The Jewish people yearned for the coming of the Messiah. We
 yearn for people we love when they are absent. Let us spend this
 season yearning for Jesus so that on Christmas Day He may not only
 be born in a stable but also into our hearts. We can express this
 yearning by making many Spiritual Communions.

Spiritual Communion Prayer

	My Jesus, I believe that Thou are truly present in the Blessed
 Sacrament. I love Thee above all things and I desire Thee in my
 soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least
 spiritually into my heart. (Pause) I embrace Thee as being already
 there and unite myself wholly to Thee. Never permit me to be
 separated from Thee. Amen.